Essex Spartans 0 - 81 Berkshire Renegades
1st July 2012
There are times when scorelines are misleading, and there are times when scorelines are unbelievable. However, there are also times when unbelievable scorelines really are an accurate reflection of the game. Sadly for the Spartans, that holds true after the team fell to one of their heaviest-ever defeats, going down 81-0 at the hands of the Berkshire Renegades.
The Spartans travelled to play the Renegades, who are flying high in the Division, knowing that defeat would leave them further adrift and rooted to the foot of the table. After spending last season in Division 2 handing out huge scorelines, and with the promotion to Division One weighing heavy on their shoulders coupled with key injuries including the loss of starting quarterback James Woodward since week 2, it was only a matter of time before the Spartans were the ones on the receiving end of a blowout.
Travelling with a smaller squad, the Spartans almost jumped out to a great start, cornerback Nick Mayer close to intercepting the Berkshire quarterback on the games second play. However, the visitors soon had their backs to the wall as the Renegades moved the ball with ease. Berkshire's first drive resulted in a rushing touchdown, and with the conversion, the home team took an early 7-0 lead.
With the Spartans unable to move the ball, the Renegades capitalised, scoring another rushing touchdown, but failing with the conversion. With a strong pass rush, the Black Tide defense limited the Renegades passing attack, and forced a turnover when inspirational lineman Lawrence Reid scooped up the loose ball. Again, the Spartans offense struggled, and following a huge punt return, the home team scored again on the ground to end the first quarter with a 19-0 lead.
Bad went to worse in the second quarter, quarterback James Dawson throwing an interception that gave Berkshire an opportunity to further extend their lead to 25-0 with another touchdown.The game was slipping away from the visitors, who tried to spark the offense with several subsitutions and player rotations. Quarterback Steve Watson fumbled the ball away to gift Berkshire great field position, but the visitors defense held firm, forcing a turnover on their own 2 yard line. Their joy was short lived, however, with Watson tackled in his own endzone for a 2-point safety to set the score at 27-0.
|Offensive woes continued|
Two further touchdowns for the Renegades, one on the ground and one through the air, meant the Spartans found themselves on the wrong end of a 41-0 scoreline as the first half ended.
The third quarter saw a further flurry of points for Berkshire. The Black Tide were powerless to stop the Berkshire assualt, a rushing touchdown with a failed conversion saw the lead extended to 47-0. The Spartans offense were not able to generate any production, and Berkshire capitalised, scoring through the air to take the score to 54-0. Two more rushing scores saw the visitors left staring at the wrong end of a 67-0 scoreline going into the games final quarter.
There was enough time for the home team to score two more touchdowns, one through the air and another on the ground, to send the Spartans home, crushed after an 81-0 defeat.
|A bruising encounter|
After the game, the Berkshire coaches were quick to praise the fighting spirit of the Spartans team and expressed their appreciation for the organisation joining the Renegades in their post-match BBQ. After such a convincing defeat, Berkshire had expected the Spartans to slip away with their tails between their legs, but that is not the Spartan way.
If we should lose - we'll stand by the road - and cheer, as the winners go by.
A four game run without a victory. Stuck at the foot of the table. On the receiving end of a heavy defeat. The Spartans are angry. The Spartans are enraged. The Spartans are ready to fight, inch by inch, yard by yard, to secure Division One football in 2013. That fight continues when the Kent Exiles come to Hannakins Farm for a game that the Spartans simply cannot afford to lose.
Hannakins Farm. Sunday, July 8th. 2:30pm. Spartans against Exiles. After their opening day 0-14 defeat, the Spartans will be out for revenge.
Buckle your chin straps and put in your mouthguards - this one's going to be a war.
All images copyright Mikey Cartwright, Ponderosa Pics